Functional Medicine – Diabetes, Insulin resistance.
Poor blood sugar management, also known as dysglycemia or insulin resistance, is an epidemic problem in our society today. It is estimated that 25% (60 million Americans). of the non obese, non diabetic population have some degree of insulin resistance (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia).
The biggest contributing factor to dysglycemia is the amount of refined carbohydrates eaten. In 1999 Each American ate an average of 158 pounds of sugar. Below is a description of how insulin resistance progresses to diabetes.
Referring to the diagrams, you should have optimal blood sugar (glucose) and optimal insulin.
As you begin to have dysglycemia your insulin levels rise to keep your glucose levels within optimal. Insulin is a storage hormone, therefore the person usually stores body fat. Blood sugar weight gain is found in the stomach area (apple body shape). The next thing that usually happens is an increase in cholesterol or triglycerides, which is measured by a lipid panel. In time your insulin doesn’t work as well and your glucose level begins to rise.
The progression continues, insulin levels continue to rise trying to keep your glucose levels under control, but glucose levels continue to creep higher. During this time, if you get high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides this is called Syndrome X.
The final stage is that insulin no longer has any effect on the body, glucose levels rise and you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In time your pancreas cannot keep up with the demands for insulin, and production decreases, leading to Type 1 Diabetes as well.
Insulin resistance can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high LDL, low HDL, heart disease, depression, inflammation, pain, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances to name a few. If you would like to know more about dysglycemia click here.